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Author Topic: When to Pull Dry Sugar  (Read 764 times)
Pond Creek Farm
Field Bee
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« on: February 08, 2009, 06:53:15 PM »

In early December, I put an extra empty super on our hives, lined half of it with newspaper and pured in 5 lbs of dry granulated sugar.  I had intened to spray it with water as Annette did, but found that I forgot to bring a spray bottle and, therefore, did not wet the sugar.  I checked the hives quickly this afternoon since we are having some unseasonably warm days (60) and found that the bees all had honey stores and found that the sugar had hardened.  I am presuming this was from the moisture in the hive and can see that the sugar is a good way to soak  up some that extra moisture.  I read that on another post (by KathyP, I believe) and so I was encouraged that my forgetfulness served a positive purpose.  My question, however, is when do I pull the extra super and sugar it contains?  I have no way of knowing if the bees are using the sugar or not.  I saw that one hive was building burr comb up from the top of the frames into the super with the sugar.  They were all quite industrious and did not seem to notice me peering in at them as they built.  I was almost tempted to pull the sugar and put on a super of starter strips for them to draw out comb, but then I rememebered that it is still February, and the cold will be back.

Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2009, 07:39:32 PM »

You can either leave it for a little longer or remove it.  Once the bees start building burr comb above the top frames of the hive the best thing to do is remove it and convert the solid sugar into syrup for feeding.  you could put a super on in about a month if you wish.  One way is to leave enough space for your feeder and fill the remainder of the super with frames for the bees to work.  Once the weather is warmer you can remove the feeder add the necessary frames and you're ahead for the year.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2009, 10:30:19 PM »

I'd leave the sugar until there's a consistent flow or they start to try to draw comb in that box.  Smiley

Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2009, 12:51:00 PM »

Keep in mind that many light hives will starve out with a late cold snap once brood rearing starts. Many hives will actually starve in early spring. If they are light, keep the sugar on.
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